National Academy of Medicine
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The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health

The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health is presented annually by the National Academy of Medicine. Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat established the award in 1992 out of a commitment to improving the science base and delivery of mental health services. This international award recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations for outstanding achievement in improving mental health and is accompanied by a medal and $20,000. Each year, a selection committee appointed by the NAM reviews nominations based on selection criteria that reflect the ideals of Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat.

The 2016 Sarnat Prize was presented during the NAM’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on October 17.

Sign Up for Award Updates

Nominations are now closed for the 2016 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat Prize in Mental Health. The recipient will be notified directly by the NAM, and the Sarnat Prize will be presented during the NAM’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on October 17, 2016. For more information, email or contact Corrin Merritt at 202-334-2177. 
  • Selection Criteria

    Each year, a selection committee appointed by the National Academy of Medicine considers the following criteria when determining the winner of the Sarnat Prize.

    The Sarnat Prize is awarded to individuals, groups, or organizations that have demonstrated at least one of the following criteria:

    • contributions to improve understanding of, or treatment for, mental disorders (basic biomedical or clinical research);
    • innovations in mental health services (counseling, clinical care, prevention, amelioration of symptoms, or promotion of mental health); or
    • accomplishments in public policy or public leadership that enhance public understanding of mental disorders, foster advances in science, improve access to or delivery of mental health services, or otherwise promote mental health.

    To encourage a broad range of candidates, there are no constraints on the education, profession, or specific discipline of individuals, groups, or organizations. The Sarnat Prize may honor public figures, policy leaders, field leaders, patient advocates, health care professionals, treatment innovators, translational scientists, basic scientists, applied scientists, or any other individuals, groups or organizations with distinguished accomplishments in the field of mental health, and will be made without regard to nationality. For the purposes of the Sarnat Prize, the field of mental health is defined broadly and includes, but is not limited to, the neurosciences, psychology, social work, public health, nursing, psychiatry, economics, law, and other disciplines, as well as perspectives from those in non-profit organizations and foundations, among others.

    The 2016 Sarnat Prize was presented during the NAM Annual Meeting on October 17, 2016.

2016 Recipients

steveSteven E. Hyman, MD
Stanley Institute





robin-murrayRobin Murray, FRS
Professor of Psychiatric Research
King’s College London




View the press release >>

  • Past Recipients


    Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD
    Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders
    Professor of Psychiatry
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center

    Kenneth S. Kendler, MD
    Rachel Brown Banks Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry
    Director, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics

    View press release >>

    Vikram Patel, FMedSci
    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
    Public Health Foundation of India

    View press release >>

    William T. Carpenter, M.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology
    University of Maryland School of Medicine
    Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

    View press release >>

    Huda Akil, Ph.D.
    Stanley J. Watson, M.D., Ph.D.

    Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    William E. Bunney, M.D.
    Distinguished Professor
    Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
    University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine

    Ellen Frank, Ph.D.
    Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry
    Professor of Psychology
    Department of Psychiatry
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

    Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D.
    Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience and Chair
    Department of Neuroscience
    Director, Friedman Brain Institute
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine

    Charles P. O’Brien, M.D., Ph.D.
    Kenneth Appel Professor
    Vice Chair of Psychiatry
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

    David Mechanic, Ph.D.
    University Professor and René Dubos Professor of Behavioral Sciences
    Director, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research
    Rutgers University

    Paul R. McHugh, M.D.
    University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry
    Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine
    Professor of Mental Health
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Beatrix Hamburg, M.D.
    David Hamburg, M.D.
    DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Scholars, Department of Psychiatry
    Weill Cornell Medical College

    Jack D. Barchas, M.D.
    Chairman, Department of Psychiatry
    Weill Cornell Medical College

    Floyd E. Bloom, M.D.
    Chairman, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer
    Neurome, Inc.

    Albert J. Stunkard, M.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus
    University of Pennsylvania

    Aaron T. Beck, M.D.
    University Professor of Psychiatry
    University of Pennsylvania

    David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.
    Director, National Center for Primary Care
    Morehouse School of Medicine

    Michael L. Rutter, M.D.
    Professor of Developmental Psychopathology
    MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre
    Institute of Psychiatry
    King’s College London

    Solomon H. Snyder, M.D.
    Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

    Rosalynn Carter
    Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
    The Carter Center

    Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.
    Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry
    Director, Mental Health Clinical Research Center
    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

    David Kupfer, M.D.
    Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    Director of Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

    Herbert Pardes, M.D.
    Vice President for Health Sciences
    Columbia University
    Dean, Faculty of Medicine
    Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

    Leon Eisenberg, M.D.
    Professor of Social Medicine, Department of Social Medicine
    Harvard Medical School

    Samuel B. Guze, M.D.
    Spencer T. Olin Professor of Psychiatry
    Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
    Barnes and Renard Hospital

    Myrna Weissman, Ph.D.
    Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry
    Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

    Gerald Klerman, M.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Chairman for Research, Department of Psychiatry
    Cornell University Medical College

    Seymour S. Kety, M.D.
    Senior Scientist
    National Institutes of Mental Health
    Professor of Neuroscience Emeritus
    Harvard Medical School

    Daniel X. Freedman, M.D.
    Judson Braun Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology
    Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science
    University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine

For more information, email